Man Utd have spoken to three director of football targets – but not Edwin van der Sar

Manchester United have never considered naming Edwin van der Sar as their director of football, reports say. The Dutchman spent a successful five years at the club during his playing days, winning three Premier League titles and reaching two Champions League finals along the way. And he’s impressed as DOF at Ajax, helping them reach last season’s Champions League semi-finals.

Van der Sar has been linked with United amid ongoing speculation that they’re looking to appoint a director of football.

Ed Woodward wanted somebody in the role when Jose Mourinho was at Old Trafford but, since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has cooled the search.

Van der Sar has forged a good reputation for himself at Ajax, unearthing young gems and overseeing the side’s charge to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

But The Athletic say United have always been steered away from Van der Sar as an option.

It’s claimed that they’ve instead held talks with Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher and Patrice Evra about the possibility of returning to Old Trafford as a director.

But, for now, the idea is on hold.

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United’s recruitment has improved considerably under Solskjaer, with all of his signings impressing throughout their time at the club so far.

Daniel James has impressed since arriving from Swansea, with the Wales international scoring three league goals and clocking up six assists.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire have tightened up the club’s defence with some storming performances at the back.

And Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo, who both signed during the January transfer window, have caught the eye as well.

United chief Woodward has vowed to back Solskjaer on transfers this summer, saying: “The recruitment department is working to a clear plan and philosophy, along with Ole and his coaching staff.

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“Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our academy with high-quality acquisitions.

“Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window.

“As part of the rebuild we see this coming summer as an important opportunity.

“There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200m spent since Ole became manager.

“Our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment.”

Meanwhile, back in September, Van der Sar refused to rule out returning to United one day.

“You never know – at the moment, Ajax is the principle thought where I’m putting all my time and effort in,” he said.

“Whatever happens in the future, we will see.”

Van der Sar’s finest hour at United came in 2008.

It was his penalty save that saw the club win the Champions League, beating Chelsea in the shootout in the process.

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